September 12, 2005 | David F. Coppedge

Are Democrats the Guardians of Science?

Dan Danbom reviewed Chris Mooney’s The Republican War On Science in the Rocky Mountain News.  According to Danbom, Mooney argues “that the Bush administration ignores, subverts, twists and misrepresents science to conform to its political goals.” The review includes these quotes from the book:

….in politicized fights involving science, it is rare to find liberals entirely innocent of abuses.  But they are almost never as guilty as the right.
Reagan’s self-appointed state board of education had pushed to weaken the teaching of evolution and endorsed creationism…. The Reagan administration’s sympathies with creationism signaled a new development for the Republican Party and conservatism more generally.  From this moment forward, many of the party’s leaders willingly distorted or even denied the bedrock scientific theory of evolution, and encouraged pseudoscientific thinking, to satisfy a traditionalist religious constituency.

Danbom calls The Republican War on Science “a book that is as carefully constructed as a laboratory experiment.”  According to the book, Republicans pick and choose among the scientific data in order to support their pet projects.  He concludes his review with, “Mooney challenges the reader to ask just how important unvarnished science is to us, no matter what our political predilections.”

The book and the review are exercises in hypocrisy.  Mooney argues that Republicans are more guilty of selective science than liberals (notice that Democrats are not specifically named in the article) who support “bedrock scientific theory of evolution.”  Just how important is unvarnished science to someone who thinks evolution rocks?

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